Pardon the brevity (and any typos), but I’m typing one-handed while my slumbering one-week-old daughter slowly cuts off the circulation in my left arm.
I’m not bemoaning parenthood, though doubling the size of your brood certainly brings a new set of challenges. (At least we’re not outnumbered.) Especially when you’ve got a newborn who only sleeps peacefully at 2 PM or while being held. (As noted before, I’m in the latter situation here, being precisely as far away from 2 PM as possible.)
There’s not much more to say without beginning to sound like I regret and/or resent the role of father, when in fact, looking down at her beautiful, peaceful, sleeping face, nothing could be farther from the truth (although I wouldn’t mind terribly trading places with her at the moment).
It’s 5:30 AM. I’m wide awake, having just endured the most harrowing diaper-changing experience so far in my short career as a parent. It’s a good time to reflect on what I’ve learned to date….
- You can never predict when the baby will come, especially when you are convinced that it couldn’t possibly come yet.
- There’s a reason they call it “labor.”
- Dads: If you agree to cut the umbilical cord on your new son, just be careful where you angle those big scissors. Leave circumcision to the experts.
- Once you’ve smelled it, everything smells like baby formula.
- Try not to ponder the implications of having a McDonald’s restaurant inside a hospital.
- Babies are neither as fragile nor as durable as they appear.
- Don’t burp the baby while wearing your favorite shirt. Or sitting on the brand new sofa.
- Yes, your baby really is the cutest in the world. Just don’t expect everyone else to see it.
- Try not to envision a dairy farm when your wife is pumping breast milk. At least, if you do, don’t tell her about it.
- A pack of 80 diapers doesn’t last as long as you’d think.
- The health insurance industry has an inscrutable logic all its own.
- Plan for everything to take twice as long as you expect it to. Then it will take approximately twice as long as that.
- Your physical coordination really is affected by sustained lack of sleep. Keep that in mind when your toes are exposed to large, heavy, moving objects.
- Having a baby is a good way to instantly enhance your popularity. Don’t let it fool you — it’s not you they’re interested in.
- There is no way to convey to a non-parent the pure joy you feel at the sight of a stinky, sticky mound of poop in a diaper, after a day and a half without one.
- Your thoughts at 5:30 AM are neither as lucid nor as profound as they seem.
- It’s all worth it. And then some.